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Suzhou Festivals and Celebrations

Festivals and Celebrations in SuzhouChina Suzhou "Oriental Water City" International Tourism Festival

Time: The first weekend of the last 10-day period of April
Venue: All counties and cities under the jurisdiction of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province and all tourist attractions

Origin
"Suzhou is skirted by green water on four sides, and has 290 bridges with red railings." Suzhou, which borders on the rivers and sea, is a city with a crisscrossed network of rivers. The Suzhou people have linked history with the future through water to leave an impression on all visitors that Suzhou is an "Oriental water city." Marco Polo, a famous Italian tourist, once gasped in admiration at the surprising similarity between Suzhou and Venice. In recent years, the China Suzhou International Tourism Festival has been held regularly with "water" as the medium and bridge. At the opening ceremony, several dozens of beautifully decorated boats run along the round-the-city moat with a history o 2,500 years to display wonderful on-water and on-boat performances and create an unusual artistic effects through various stage arts, thus starting the one-week on-water carnival activity.

What's On
The opening ceremony, large on-water performances titled "Charm of Water," Love for Water" and "Soul of Water," on-water shows of international and domestic decorated boats, Suzhou on-water carnival week, the mayor consulting meeting, the delicacy festival "Spring of South China," temple fairs, flower fairs, cultural festivals and other special tourism festivals.

Main Tourist Attractions
Waterside towns (Zhouzhuang, Tongli, Luzhi, Mudu and Jinxi); classical gardens and famous places of scenic and historical interest (Humble Administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden, Garden of the Master-of-Net, Lion Grove, Ouyuan Garden, Canglang Pavilion, Yipu Garden, Huangxiu Garden, Tuisi Garden, Tiger Hill and Cold Hill Temple); and Taihu Lake National Tourism Holiday Resort (Shigong Mountain, Linwu Cave, Taihu Lake New Land, etc.)

Transport
Tourists may fly to the Shanghai Houngqiao Airport, Pudong Airport, Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport or Wuxi Airport in Jiangsu, and then go to Suzhou by bus or train. The Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Hangzhou railways pass Suzhou, so does the expressway.


Listening to the Sound of Bells Activity at the Cold Hill Temple

Time: December 31 every year
Venue: Cold Hill Temple in the Suzhou Maple Bridge Scenic Area

Festivals and Celebrations in SuzhouOrigin
A poem "Mooring Near Maple Bridge at Night" written by Zhang Ji, a famous poet of the Tang Dynasty, reads: "The moon goes down, crowns cry under a frosty shy; Dimly lit fishing boats beneath maples sadly lie. Beyong the Suzhou walls the Temple of Cold Hill ring bells, which reach my boat, breaking the midnight still." This poem has been often quoted and widely loved for hundreds of years, making the Cold Hill Temple well known throughout the world. on the lunar New Year's Eve every year, thousands of people come to the temple to listen to the bell-tolling sounds, so as to get rid of all worries in the coming year. It is the oldest and most influential tourist activity sponsored by the Cold Hill Temple in China.

What's On
The activity of listening to the bell-tolling sounds is divided into three parts: The lunar New Year's Eve dinner, the temple fair in the Maple Bridge Scenic Zone, and listening to the bell-tolling sounds. At about midnight, people stream into the Cold Hill Temple to burn joss sticks and pray for fortune; all monks gather at the Grand Hall for a Buddhist service; and the abbot delivers a message of congratulation to all the guests, wishing a happy and safe year for all the people. At the 10th second of 23:42, people begin to listen to the 108 rings of the bell, which symbolize an auspicious year and a good luck.

Main Tourist Attractions
Waterside towns (Zhouzhuang, Tongli, Luzhi, Mudu and Jinxi); classical gardens and famous places of scenic and historical interest (Humble Administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden, Garden of the Master-of-Net, Lion Grove, Ouyuan Garden, Canglang Pavilion, Yipu Garden, Huangxiu Garden, Tuisi Garden, Tiger Hill and Cold Hill Temple); and Taihu Lake National Tourism Holiday Resort (Shigong Mountain, Linwu Cave, Taihu Lake New Land, etc.)

Transport
Tourists may fly to the Shanghai Houngqiao Airport, Pudong Airport, Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport or Wuxi Airport in Jiangsu, and then go to Suzhou by bus or train. The Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Hangzhou railways pass Suzhou, so does the expressway.

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